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Snow ravage causes US$2.25b loss in forestry sector
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Disastrous winter weather has caused 16.2 billion yuan (US$2.25 billion) in losses for China's forestry sector, Cao Qingyao, State Forestry Administration (SFA) spokesman, said in Beijing on Saturday.

Disastrous winter weather has caused 16.2 billion yuan (US$2.25 billion) in losses for China's forestry sector, Cao Qingyao, State Forestry Administration spokesman, said in Beijing on Saturday.

By January 31, 2.49 million forest workers and residents of 14 provinces and regions had been affected. Some 120,000 houses were wrecked or had collapsed, he said. The weather also damaged 5.46 million hectares of bamboo, 5.18 million ha of forest and 36,700 ha of seedlings.

The cost in treating sick wild animals and economic loss from animal deaths reached 17 million yuan, Cao said.

The death toll for wildlife killed this winter was unavailable.

On Hunan Province's frozen Dongting Lake, the cold weather and a lack of food put the lives of 160,000 migratory birds at risk, the China Green Times, published by SFA, reported.

Cao said the administration had allocated 4.3 million yuan to aid 39,000 households worst hit by the disaster in Hunan, Hubei, Anhui, Jiangxi and Guizhou provinces and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Finance earmarked 30 million yuan for these disaster-stricken areas.

The severe weather of the past three weeks could persist until Feb. 9, according to the latest Central Meteorological Station forecasts.

Total economic losses, so far, had amounted to about 53.9 billion yuan, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Friday. It said the snow had killed at least 60 people and forced nearly 1.759 million to relocate.

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Severe winter weather may persist for another week

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China issues red alert for snowstorms

Brutal weather takes rising toll

Heavy snow piles on the agony

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Gov't urges conservation to ease winter power disruption

(Xinhua News Agency February 3, 2008)

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